Lacey, before and after receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
When ASPCA Special Agent Ann Kelly brought hound mix puppies Cagney and Lacey to the ASPCA Animal Hospital on February 17, the two were so skinny that their bones were visible from across the room.
The dogs’ owner, Gillian Irving, relinquished them to the ASPCA after Agent Kelly visited her home in the Norwood section of the Bronx. In April, Agent Kelly arrested Irving, who was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. (If convicted, Irving faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.)
Meanwhile, under the care of our veterinary professionals, the frightened dogs put on weight quickly: Cagney went from 16.4 to 27.1 pounds, and Lacey from 15.2 to 26.9, in the months leading up to Irving’s arrest.
As these shy puppies gained weight, they also made new friends among ASPCA staff and learned that new people weren’t so scary after all. At first, the dogs “would cower to the ground when they were removed from their kennels,” recalls ASPCA Senior Behavior and Training Manager Victoria Wells. “Once the vets gave the medical okay, they were paired up with each other and more confident dogs for play sessions and walks to expose them to new people and places. They slowly began to overcome their fear.”
They even made a special friend in Kim Danley, a licensed veterinary technician. When the dogs were ready to move to foster homes, Danley brought Lacey to the home she shared with her Rottweiler and ASPCA-alumnus cat, while Cagney went to another foster home.
As Danley invested lots of time in teaching Lacey that new people and places were exciting, not scary, Lacey became an irreplaceable member of the family. When Lacey was made available for adoption, Danley decided to make it official. She filled out the paperwork and renamed her Frankie.
Since then, the Danley family has moved to California, where Frankie loves running on the beach, sunbathing on her deck and taking boat rides. Danley reports that “now she’s the happiest dog in the world. She and Charlie sleep curled up with each other every night. She’s not afraid of a thing.”
APSCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents are investigating the deaths of several dogs that became violently ill in July after visiting Riverside Park in upper Manhattan. The animals’ guardians suspect the dogs were victims of intentional poisoning.
We are working to determine the cause of these dogs’ tragic endings. If you have any information related to this case, please contact the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.
Please stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more information about this developing case.
In June, we told you about a dog fighting bust the ASPCA and New York Police Department conducted in the Bronx. Today, we’re happy to share some good news: 26 of the dogs have found placements with rescue groups, and another seven of them have placements in the works! We’re hoping continued rehabilitation and forever homes are just around the corner.
Partners that have embraced these canine survivors include St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey; Charles Henderson Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York; Columbia Greene Humane Society in Hudson, New York, and Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford. Some dogs have also been transferred to the ASPCA’s Adoption Center in Manhattan.
These dogs’ lives are already so different from the ones they led just a few short months ago. On June 21, we found them living in the windowless basement of a six-story apartment building with a makeshift fighting arena.Also discovered on scene were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, U.S. currency and other equipment associated with dog fighting—including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.
For more than two months, ASPCA responders cared for and provided the dogs with extensive socialization, a healthy diet, medical care and exercise at a temporary shelter. Each dog was carefully evaluated by a team of animal behavior professionals prior to being transferred to the rescue groups.
While the majority of the dogs in this case may be rehabilitated, some were far too dangerous for placement. These dogs were victims of the brutalities of dog fighting—bred over generations to exhibit aggression, trained to fight with lethal intent, subjected to a life of inhumane treatment and, as a result, displayed highly aggressive behavior. After extensive evaluations, all decisions to euthanize were based on recommendations of multiple behavior professionals who weighed in objectively and independently, with the best interest of each individual animal in mind.
The dogs’ owner, Raul Sanchez of the Bronx, was arrested during the raid and arraigned on 63 counts of animal fighting, six counts of aggravated animal cruelty, six counts of animal cruelty, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to four years in jail.
The ASPCA’s Legal Advocacy team is providing support to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in this case.
As the Southeast continued to cope with flooding in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, ASPCA responders spent Labor Day weekend knee-deep in floodwater saving lives. Because of the efforts of ASPCA responders and others, hundreds of animals—dogs, cats, horses and even deer—are now safe.
In Mississippi, an ASPCA team worked to rescue stranded animals, including a young fawn in Harrison County who became trapped on a small piece of high ground after her mother swam to safety. Just as her patch of land was submerged, our responders arrived to take her to safety. She is now with the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society of Long Beach, Mississippi.
Meanwhile in Louisiana five teams—comprised of responders from the ASPCA, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Texas State Animal Response Team and Calcasieu Parish—together handled search and rescue requests.
A team of responders assisted the coastally situated St. John Parish Animal Shelter in LaPlace, Louisiana, purchasing equipment to deep-clean the kennel after flooding robbed it of most of its space for dogs. St. John’s is getting back on its feet but has severely limited space. In response, the ASPCA transported nearly 70 dogs and cats from St. John’s.
To help local shelters find space to accept animals rescued from flooding, our Animal Relocation team also moved 80 adoptable cats and dogs from Plaquemines Parish and 20 from Jefferson Parish. In total, the ASPCA relocated 90 dogs and 84 cats to shelters with space to care for them: the generous Humane Society of North Texas, SPCA of Texas and the Atlanta Humane Society. (Thank you!)
Our work is not yet complete. If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
As you know, exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac is devastating Gulf Coast communities. Waist-high flooding has forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and as first responders work to rescue people stranded by the storm, the ASPCA is planning rescue operations for stranded and imperiled animals.
The ASPCA’s response to this crisis is only just beginning and is evolving by the minute, but we have taken the following measures:
Our top experts are working closely with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team to plan and execute rescue.
We’re deploying responders to conduct door-to-door rescue of animals in flooded or abandoned homes.
We’re assisting a Louisiana animal shelter facing flooding.
We are supplying boats and other equipment for critical water rescue missions.
We transported animals from a Mississippi shelter to make room for possible Isaac victims.
If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.